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The Gospel According To Spiritism


Aura of atheification
Premium Member
Hi, @ivarmcvoy

Being a Brazilian, I have a general notion of what you are talking about. But I am probably not a good choice to explain it to others. So feel free to pitch in.

@Quintessence , this is a 19th century book by a French writer, Hyppolite Rivail, better know as Allan Kardec.

This book, "The Gospel According to Spiritism", is the third in a sequence of five books that form what is known in Brazil as the "Codificação Espírita", or Spiritist Codification. Together they present the basis of what is now know as Kardecist Spiritism.

Spiritist Codification - Wikipedia

Spiritism - Wikipedia

Kardecist spiritism should not be confused with other meanings of the word "spiritism", some of which are generally indicative of the paranormal. Not all of those meanings are reconcilable with Kardecism.

Kardecism is an animistic belief, based on communication with disenbodied spirits of deceased people. Seances and even incorporation (ceremonial, voluntary, "partial" possession) are big in that practice, which happens to be extremely popular and at the same time fairly informal here in Brazil. Mediunic healing is not too rare, either.

A big part of the overall doctrine is the claim that human beings are continuously reincarnated in ever more spiritually evolved forms, without ever losing any of their spiritual prowess, albeit advancing at very different rates.

How compatible (if at all) with Christianity this Spiritism is is a topic of some contention, sometimes fairly heated. But there is no doubt that it claims to be a successor and an improvement on Christianity, and specifically Catholicism.

Whether Spiritism should be considered a religion is itself a fairly controversial subject matter. Many Spiritists have a measure of mistrust of religion and consider Spiritism to be a different form of practice, distinct from religion.

It is not always easy to tell whether any given person should be considered a spiritist, for it is not very unusual for people to have a sporadic or episodic interest in the doctrine, which may be perceived as an alternative or a complement to other, more formal religious beliefs.

The general trend among spiritists seems to be against characterizing Kardecism as a religion of its own, but that certainly does not translate into an aversion to proselitism.